Learnings from a Cascade of Interventions

Emergency Cesarean Birth Story

Caitlin Shrum lives in the Bay Area, California with her husband, Andrew, and their son, Cooper (2). Her first birth caught her by surprise as she found herself in an emergency c-section situation. She quickly realized her experience wasn’t normal and has spent the past two years educating herself in order to set up her future births for success, and has found within herself a passion for the birth space and maternal care. In this episode, she walks us through her pregnancy and childbirth experience and how she has taken that experience and is channeling it into education and learning for herself and hopefully others down the line.

Caitlin Shrum Bio

Caitlin Shrum is a wife and working mom living in the Bay Area, California with her husband, Andrew and their son, Cooper (2), and have one baby on the way. She’s a Southern California native and beach girl at heart, but is enjoying her time living in in the tech boom. When not chasing around her toddler, she enjoys a great brunch, training for half marathons, spending time with friends and family, and traveling. You can connect with her on Instagram @caitshrum.

postpartum

Resources

Business of Being Born
The Birth Hour
Why Not Home
ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network)
Spinning Babies
LinkedIn Blog Post on Maternity Leave experience
Birthing Normally after a C-Section
Childbirth Without Fear
Mindful Birthing
Expecting Better
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Aeroflow Breastpumps

This episode is sponsored by Aeroflow BreastpumpsAeroflow helps new and pregnant moms qualify for breast pumps through their health insurance. They carry all of the major brands, including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh, Evenflo, and more. Visit their website to get started today, and your dedicated breast pump specialist will take care of all of the paperwork for you, including getting a prescription from your doctor and filing the claim with your insurance. Go here to get started!

Planned Hypnobirth turned Breech Cesarean Birth Story

Yunji and her husband Kent had planned for a natural hypnobirth with a doula in a hospital. They spent weeks taking classes and practicing hypnosis at home, only to learn that their baby girl was breech at 36 weeks. Yunji did everything she could to get the baby to turn including acupuncture, moxibustion, yoga, special chiropractic treatments, handstands in the pool (yes really, every day!) and even an external cephalic version at the hospital. Nothing worked. She ended up having a scheduled c-section at 39 and a half weeks. Their baby girl Kaya was born on August 19, 2017, just over 8 pounds – her head was in the 98th percentile, which doctors told Yunji and Kent may explain why Kaya didn’t or couldn’t turn.

Yunji de Nies Bio

Yunji is a freelance journalist in Honolulu. Raised on the Big Island, Yunji is a graduate of Yale University with a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. She is a former ABC News White House and National Correspondent, and spent five years anchoring the evening news at KITV, the ABC affiliate in Honolulu. Long before she was even thinking about having a baby, she interviewed Ricki Lake about her documentary, The Business of Being Born, a film that deeply impacted her and one she now recommends to all expectant mothers. Yunji loves being a mom and has been blessed to be able to spend most of her time at home with her baby, while still carving out time to stay engaged in journalism. She works for a variety of media outlets in Hawaii, including PBS Hawaii and Civil Beat. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @yunijd

Resources

Ricki Lake’s documentary – The Business of Being Born
Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy
Everything written by Ina May Gaskin!

Munchkin

At the end of today’s episode we chatted with Munchkin founder of Milk Makers products, Emily and LATCH specialist, Allison. Check out their Milkmakers products, Latch™ bottles and accessories, and STEP™ Diaper Pail.

Unplanned C Section, Breastfeeding Struggles and PPA

Cesarean Birth Story

A self-described “professional Type-A planner,” Courtney feels she spent “too many hours” crafting the “perfect” birth plan… only to toss it out the window during labor and delivery. At 38 weeks, after learning Jackson was breech, and that she was Group B positive and only dilated .5CM, Courtney scheduled an induction for 40W6D; but, she went into labor 1.5 days before induction day.

At the hospital, Courtney learned that meconium in her fluid would require a NICU team at birth; and, while Jackson had turned, he was still in the occiput posterior position. Eventually, after several hours on Pitocin, Courtney’s amniotic sac had resealed (which required an amnio-hook) and her contractions were ineffective, causing her cervix to swell and making the situation potentially dangerous for mama and baby.

After taking what she describes as “hit after hit,” her birth story ends via C-section, including a failed epidural and hemorrhage. She and Wes welcomed baby Jackson at 8:38PM… 8 minutes after her previously scheduled induction time.

During postpartum, Courtney struggled with breastfeeding Jackson, and made the very difficult decision to stop after a few weeks. She also experienced intense postpartum anxiety for which she eventually (around 6 months pp) sought professional help through her Primary Care Provider and licensed therapist. During this time, Courtney relied on the tremendous amount of support she received from her husband, family, friends, and even her client, Sarah, who candidly shared her own new motherhood stories and encouraged Courtney to make the best decisions for her and her family. Today, about a month shy of Jackson’s first birthday, Courtney has established her “new normal” and couldn’t imagine life without the stubborn, giggly, busy little boy she made.

Professionally, Courtney is one of the voices behind Sarah Wells Bags as Sarah’s primary marketing consultant. She loves supporting other new mamas in their breastfeeding and pumping journeys, wherever (and for however long) it may take them, and can’t get enough new baby pics. Feel free to reach out to her anytime at courtney@sarahwellsbags.com.

birth plan to cesarean

Courtney Byrd Bio

Courtney and husband, Wes, welcomed their first (and likely only!) child, Jackson, in August 2016. Courtney experienced a miscarriage in October 2014, had a somewhat difficult pregnancy, and ultimately delivered Jackson via C-section. Given her experience working with Sarah Wells Breast Pump Bags and the several newborn and breastfeeding classes she attended, Courtney was confident her fourth trimester would be a breeze … until she began experiencing difficulty breastfeeding and postpartum anxiety. Now, her advice to new moms is: “Set yourself up for success even if you have to ‘fail’ first.” For example, she recommends knowing what your breastfeeding resources are and who to talk to if you’re experiencing any type of postpartum depression or anxiety. Courtney and family now live in Austin, Texas, where they survive off of breakfast tacos and “weird” vibes. Courtney works with Sarah Wells Bags and is one of the several voices behind @sarahwellsbags on social media and their blog.

Resources

KellyMom (“For those 3AM feeding SOS searches.”)
Motherly (Courtney subscribes to the week-by-week motherhood guide.)

“Don’t be shy about asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it only means you’re wise.” – Unknown

Sarah Wells Bags

This episode is sponsored by Sarah Wells Bags. With thoughtful functionality and chic styling, Sarah Wells offers breast pump bags and accessories to help you reach your breastfeeding goals. An all-in-one bag for your breast pump, pumping accessories, laptop, phone and more, Sarah Wells Bags also transition to a diaper bag or purse when you’re done pumping. See the full collection, including the Pumparoo—a wet/dry bag and staging mat for pump parts at sarahwellsbags.com. Use promo code: BIRTHHOUR15, good for 15% off all orders at sarahwellsbags.com. Be sure to check out their World Breastfeeding Week Giveaway and FB Live over on their FB page.

Breech Cesarean Birth Story in Canada

Breech Baby Homebirth to Cesarean Birth

cesarean breech birth
Chylanne’s pregnancy began with a hope for a natural home waterbirth but quickly turned into copious amounts of research and a panic to find someone to deliver her breech baby. She feels that she went from one end of the spectrum to the completee opposite; ending with a c-section. She says she didn’t enjoy being pregnant and was really looking forward to feeling redeemed through birth. She went through a grieving process when she found out her daughter, Mila, was breech because she felt like everything she wanted out of birth was ripped away from her. Chylanne says it was hard coming to terms with the potential of having to have a c-section, but after trying and doing everything she could and having lots of support from those that loved her (like her amazing friend, Jana, who has also gone through a natural birth and c-sections) she was able to feel the validation that she needed from her birthing experience.

Chylanne Schindel Bio

homebirth to cesarean
Chylanne is wife to Kai, a new mother to Mila and has a dog named JJ. She has her degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked as a respite provider for families with children with autism, and has been an activity leader at the Boys and Girls club, an organization that is very close to her heart. She is currently a stay at home mom and hopes to continue in that role until she and her husband are done having children. She is absolutely in love with her little girl and enjoys every minute with her. She is working on getting back to writing more regularly on her blog because she really enjoys it; but, as a new mom she’s still trying to balance everything including self care. She also wants to complete her certification as a Doula and would love to pursue a future career supporting other women through their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journeys. Connect with her via her blog.

Resources

Ina May Gaskins Guide to Childbirth
Breech Birth – Benna Waites
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – La Leche League International
Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth – Grantly Dick Read
Gentle Birth Choices – Barbara Harper
Baby Centre App
Prenatal Class
Doula Training – D.O.N.A. International

Aeroflow Breastpumps

This episode is sponsored by Aeroflow BreastpumpsAeroflow helps new and pregnant moms qualify for breast pumps through their health insurance. They carry all of the major brands, including Medela, Spectra, Lansinoh, Evenflo, and more. Visit their website to get started today, and your dedicated breast pump specialist will take care of all of the paperwork for you, including getting a prescription from your doctor and filing the claim with your insurance. Go here to get started!

Four Preemie Baby Birth Stories & NICU Stays

Julie Martin Bio

Julie Martin is a wife and homeschooling mother of 4 precious babies. Her first baby was born ten years ago, very unexpectedly, at 30 weeks by c-section; and, he spent two months in the NICU. Despite trying all the natural remedies and labor stalling methods, each subsequent baby was also born prematurely (33,33, and 32 weeks) by c-section, and each spent a month in the NICU as well. Never imagining being a c-section or NICU mommy, Julie has a heart to encourage women who have had birth experiences that just don’t turn out like they anticipate.

Resources

Get help at the NICU with breastfeeding. Here’s a little audio clip of advice from Julie on how she did that!
Preemies – Second Edition: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies

Ruby Love Baby

The Ruby Love Baby Book is a modern twist on the classic baby memory book. Designed by a mom looking for something relevant and current, but also something timeless and precious that would be a handwritten heirloom that would grow with her child, the Ruby Love Baby Book will help you do just that and document your pregnancy through the first year of your baby’s life and beyond. With additional pages such as NICU pages, adoption pages, holiday pages and the Ruby Love School Years Book, you can be sure to remember all of the little things that you never want to forget. Use code BIRTHHOUR15 for 15% off your purchase.

Ruby Love Baby is also on Etsy and the coupon code works there as well!

Cesarean for Footling Breech Followed by VBAC

Jen Kamel’s Birth Stories – Cesarean followed by VBAC

Jen Kamel planned a hospital birth with a midwife and after being told that her baby was in the single footling breech position, she found herself in the operating room after many months of envisioning a vaginal labor and delivery. She had a very painful recovery and knew she didn’t want to just schedule a cesarean for her next baby.

Her OB/GYN was very supportive, and assured her that she was an excellent VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) candidate since she had her cesarean for breech. But when she went out into the world, many friends and family members could not believe that she would consider a VBAC, which led her to do tons of research and develop VBAC Facts. In this episode she shares her cesarean and VBAC birth stories as well as some really great information around VBACs in general!

Jen Kamel Bio

Jen Kamel is a VBAC strategist and nationally recognized consumer advocate. She is also known as the founder of VBAC Facts, an educational, training and consulting firm. She has been invited to present Grand Rounds at hospitals educating obstetricians, maternal fetal medicine specialists, midwives, residents, and midwifery students on the latest VBAC evidence. She has traveled the country as a California Board of Registered Nursing Continuing Education Provider presenting her signature program “The Truth About VBAC” to hundreds of professionals and highly motivated parents. She speaks at national conferences and has worked as a legislative consultant in various states including California, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Indiana focusing on midwifery legislation and regulations. She has testified multiple times in front of the California Medical Board and legislative committees on the importance of VBAC access, is a board member for the California Association of Midwives and the California Association of Licensed Midwives, and has served as an expert witness in a legal proceeding.

Additional Resources

Debunk 5 Uterine Rupture Myths

13 Myths About VBAC Facts

Latched Mama

Latched Mama is on a mission to support new moms with affordable and functional nursing wear. Using comfortable fabrics and modern designs that work for both tandem feeding and pumping, Latched Mama is helping moms nurse confidently and comfortably wherever they are. Also, check out their new labor dress! Made from a super-soft fabric, it features snaps up the front and back for monitoring and epidural placement, and snaps at the shoulders for skin-to-skin and breastfeeding access. The Latched Mama labor dress can truly bring a little extra comfort and confidence to your next birth. Latched Mama also has an extensive plus size line up to 4X.